28 Mar Mother’s Day: Work-life balance advice for mums
As Mother’s Day is just around the corner, we thought we’d bring some awareness to all the working mothers who are juggling a work-life balance. Trying to fit personal commitments and childcare around an 8-hour working day is no easy task – and it can be worryingly easy to neglect yourself and your other relationships when your to-do list is constantly full. However difficult it may seem, there are ways that you can adapt your lifestyle to work around this.
In order to achieve work-life balance, it’s important to set boundaries. This is particularly essential if you’re working flexibly, as it can be hard to distinguish between work and home. Try setting aside time for work when your children are at school/in childcare or in bed. Organise your time so that when you’re with your family, you don’t have to check your emails – and dedicate this time solely to spending quality time with them. When you do have to work, ensure that you’re fully focused so that you can get as much done as possible. If you find it too tempting to check your emails when you’re with your family, organise your evening so that you can log out of your emails or turn off electronic devices for an hour or two.
When you’re trying to juggle numerous responsibilities in one day, good planning becomes ever more important. Take time out on a Sunday – even if it’s just half an hour – to plan for the week ahead. The more detailed you plan, the better. From planning your daily schedule to organising your daily meal plan, this is the time to plan as much of your week as you can. Come up with a detailed grocery list, and if it helps, plan your days by the hour. This, if anything, will put your mind at rest – and you’ll show yourself that you can achieve everything that you need to each day. Having a planner is essential to reducing feelings of overwhelm and stress – so make this a small investment at the start of every year. Be sure to check your planner daily, and update wherever needed.
Mornings can be nothing less than hectic if you’ve got to be at work for 9am, and you have the additional stress of getting your children ready for school. Make the most of your spare time the night before, and get as much organised as you can – by packing lunches for the next day, laying out clothes for the morning and encouraging everyone to have their showers, you’ll make mornings significantly less stressful.
This may seem simple, but when you’re at work, focus and try to be as productive as you can. It’s easy to get distracted – and when you’re distracted, you typically don’t get as much work done throughout the day. So, make to-do lists, and try your best to achieve them within working hours. This way, you’ll feel less obliged to work out of hours and will have more time to dedicate to your family life.
If you find it hard to take time out, schedule family activities into your diary – whether that’s a movie/games evening or a picnic, you’ll be more likely to stick to a plan if it’s set in stone. Additionally, don’t forget to take time out with your partner – busy lifestyles can all too easily lead to neglecting your relationships. Arrange childcare if necessary, and dedicate one night a month (at least) to spending quality time with your partner.
It’s essential to ensure that you also take time out for yourself. Self-care is much more important than many people realise – and it can be as simple as taking time out to do one small thing each day that you enjoy.